The desire for peace is strong in Judaism. One of the key points of Jewish liturgy is singing or chanting a piece called ‘Oseh Shalom’. This is a plea for the Eternal One to bring peace to the Jewish people and peace to the whole of humanity. For thousands of years Jews have wished, prayed for and worked for peace, even when peace may have looked like a distant and unattainable dream. This week we were very sad to see the murder by Arab savages of a man, Richard Lakin Z”l, who had dedicated his life to the idea of peace, and fervently believed that Arab and Jew could coexist in peace in the Holy Land. He moved from the United States to Israel in 1984 and lived his belief that there could be peace between Arab and Jew. He wasn’t just an ‘armchair spouter’, he actually tried to put his beliefs into practise.
Is there any story more tragically ironic than that of a man who believed that Arab and Jew could live in peace, only to be martyred by some knife wielding Arab savage? If there is, I have not yet come across one. If there is any story that highlights the stark difference between a faith that ‘chooses life’, Judaism and a faith that chooses death, Islam, then this tragic tale must be one of those.
The Associated Press in reporting (original in italics and this blog’s comments in plain text) this terrible tragedy said:
“Richard Lakin, 76, died of wounds sustained on Oct. 13 when two Palestinian men boarded a bus in Jerusalem and began shooting and stabbing passengers. It was one of the bloodiest attacks in recent violence in which Palestinian attackers killed 11 Israelis. In that time, 55 Palestinians have been killed, including 35 identified by Israel as attackers and the rest in clashes with security forces.
It should be noted that although there is although more Arabs than Israelis have been killed, it is not the Israelis who have instigated this latest round of violence. This latest spate of attacks is, as usual, perpetrated and encouraged by Arabs. If people start violence they can expect to die, simple as that.
Lakin was originally from Newton, Massachusetts, and a longtime principal in Glastonbury, Connecticut. His Facebook page displayed an image of Israeli and Arab kids hugging under the word “coexist.”
The ‘coexist’ meme and its associated posters and stickers, have long been the butt of jokes from those of us who take a realistic view of the world, and especially the Muslim world, but now with the murder of Mr Lakin, we should view it for what it really is, which is an expression of extreme naivety.
Micah Avni said his father was a beloved educator and author of a book on teaching. He was an elementary school principal in the U.S. and taught English in mixed classes of Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem after moving to Israel in 1984.
Mr Lakin appeared to be one of those who believed that there is good in most people, tragically his trust was misplaced.
In the 1960s, Lakin was active in the civil rights movement in the U.S., marching with Martin Luther King and bringing students from Boston to the South for sit-ins, Avni said.
“He was a big believer in people and in peace and in being kind and he never hurt a soul in his life,” Avni said, adding that thousands of people from around the world have contacted him to express their shock and condolences after his father’s death.
My condolences also go out to the family, and as is customary, I wish them long life. This tragic and senseless death, to add to all the other senseless and tragic deaths caused by Arab savages, should be a wake up call for all those who believe that there can be peace with Arabs and other Muslims. I’d love to think there could be, but I’m realistic enough to know that wishing and praying for peace is not enough. For there to be true peace, the Arabs and other Muslims would have to stop hating, but since they’ve been hating others for 1400 years, I’m not stupid enough to believe that they are going to stop hating anytime soon.
Arab savages have caused the death of a good man, a man who believed in the inherent goodness of all of humanity, and for that belief he has paid the ultimate price.
This disgusting and unnecessary killing, along with all the other disgusting and unnecessary killings that have been carried out by Muslim savages in Israel recently, are yet more signs that Arabs and Muslims cannot be trusted. They cannot be trusted to keep the peace, to live in peace with their neighbours, to live in peace with those of differing beliefs and none, often they cannot even be trusted to live in peace with their fellow Muslims.
Appeals for ‘coexistence’ do not work with Muslims, there is really only one language that they understand, and that is force. I started this article with words of peace, but I will end it with words from the Talmud regarding self defence: ‘When someone comes to you with the intention of killing you, get up earlier and kill them first’. We see the intention of Muslims to kill non-Muslims every day and in almost every place. Therefore we need to make sure that we stop them from killing, even if it means arising from our comfortable slumber, and removing all those who wish harm to all civilised people. Jewish prayers say “Dissuade those who seek to harm us, and let not their plans prevail.”
You can’t coexist with those who want to kill you, and it is utter madness to try.
Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet for Mr Lakin and for all those whose lives have been cut short by Arab savages.
Associated Press article
Oseh Shalom (version by Yossi Azulay) with lyrics
He who makes peace in his high places
He shall make peace upon us
And upon all of Israel
And say Amen